Techs Gain in a Flash

Flash memory makers paced tech stocks to a 1% gain on Monday.

SanDisk gained 8% and M-Systems 6% after Citigroup said the flash memory makers have solid long-term prospects.

The upgrades also came ahead of expected new product announcements from Apple — and reports of potential competition from Microsoft .

Also helping the sector was a Barron’s report that Apple could make a play for Disney .

Shares of Google , meanwhile, rose 3.5% ahead of the company’s analyst meeting on Thursday. Google reportedly has been reaching out to shareholders in advance of the meeting, following a steep decline in the stock on disappointing fourth-quarter results.

The broader market also gained Monday, as strong earnings from Lowe’s and a decline in oil prices outweighed a larger than expected decline in new home sales.

The Nasdaq rose 20 to 2307, the S&P 500 gained 4 to 1294, and the Dow rose 35 to 11,097. Volume rose to 1.98 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.75 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-13 on the NYSE, and 17-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 58% on the NYSE, and 70% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 281-24 on the NYSE, and 236-22 on the Nasdaq.

Pacific Internet surged 16% on a buyout offer.

Applied Materials lost 2% on a Citigroup downgrade.

Cablevision climbed 5% on its results.

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